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UTAMARO AND THE SPECTACLE OF BEAUTY By Julie Nelson Davis, faculty. (University of Hawaii Press, 2008, $65.00.) The 18th-century artist Kitagawa Utamaro documented the sensual and intriguing world of geishas and courtesans as well as everyday women in Japanese society. Davis, assistant professor of East Asian art in Penn’s art-history department, uses selected print sets and a wide range of period sources to explore the role that Utamaro and his art played in the city that later became Tokyo. BUY THIS BOOK

SCARE TACTICS: Supernatural Fiction by American Women By Jeffrey Andrew Weinstock C’92. (Fordham University Press, 2008. $50.00.) Between the end of the Civil War and the Great Depression, a number of American women writers were making their mark on the genre of supernatural fiction. Weinstock, an associate professor of English at Central Michigan University, examines how they were able to create imaginary worlds quite unlike the restrictive one they actually inhabited. BUY THIS BOOK

CONSPIRACY IN KIEV: The Russian Trilogy, Book One By Noel Hynd C’70. (Zondervan, 2008. $14.99.) The first book of Hynd’s Russian Trilogy follows Special Agent Alexandra LaDuca through Eastern Europe and South America. Having accepted an undercover assignment in the dangerous and corrupt city of Kiev, she soon finds herself entangled in an assassination plot against the U.S. president and a power struggle within the Russian-Ukrainian underworld. Hynd, a longtime contributor to the Gazette, is the author of numerous novels and nonfiction works. BUY THIS BOOK

ENCYCLOPEDIA OF JEWISH AMERICAN ARTISTS By Samantha Baskind C’92. (Greenwood Press, 2007. $85.00.) More than 80 Jewish-American artists from the 19th and 20th centuries—from the famous (Roy Lichtenstein, Louise Nevelson, Sol LeWitt) to the not-so-well-known (Theresa Bernstein, Ruth Gikow, Jennings Tofel)—are presented in this comprehensive work. Illustrations, some in color, accompany each artist’s entry, some of which include excerpts from interviews conducted by Baskind, an associate professor of art history at Cleveland State University. BUY THIS BOOK

AT WAR WITH THE WIND: The Epic Struggle With Japan’s World War II Suicide Bombers By David Sears C’69. (Citadel Press, 2008. $24.95.) Toward the end of World War II, the U.S. Navy began to encounter terrifying instruments of mass destruction in the form of Japanese kamikaze pilots. Sears chronicles the tale of these suicide bombers, who sacrificed themselves and inflicted maximum damage to their enemy by crashing into U.S. vessels in a desperate attempt to continue fighting on their own terms. BUY THIS BOOK

FIXING FRAGILE STATES: A New Paradigm for Development By Seth D. Kaplan WG’94. (Praeger Security International, 2008. $65.00.) Unstable countries can become breeding grounds for terrorism. By examining fragile states such as Pakistan and Syria, as well as current American foreign policy, Kaplan—chairman of Alpha International Consulting—lays out a new approach to developing peace and stability in volatile areas. BUY THIS BOOK

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